Monday, March 30, 2009

Worlds Unknown

As part of my work with Freshi Films, we went to the Tri-State Camp Conference in Atlantic City, New Jersey - a trade show that caters to the summer camp industry.  Summer camps are a huge business back east, out here in Los Angeles, is largely unknown, aside from some scattered specialty camps and camps for the less fortunate.  

The conference included an exhibit hall filled with all matter of services for summer camps, from insurance to inflatable slides, to food service, to t-shirts, to sports, to medical services and supplies, and even portable docks for your lakeside camp.  Companies have developed and succeeded for decades aimed at one primary, and very regional industry. 

I couldn't help but think of how many trade shows are held around the country and the world that service businesses and industries that are largely unknown, unless you have a direct interest.  We hear about some in the news occasionally - electronics, toys, books, guns - but so many remain unreported outside of industry publications.  How many conferences are held each year that the "outside" world ignores, but hold a critical role in a particular industry?  

At the conference, I met the owner of the day camp that I attended as a little boy - and that his father had founded fifty years before.  From my western perspective, it seems almost inconceivable that a summer camp could be a viable business, but, like so much else, our culture is entirely removed from the summer camp tradition.  Or, perhaps, we're just one big never-ending summer camp!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The most popular camp I know is called "ComiCon". It's not just a world unknown, it's a multiverse unknown!